SpaceRef: NASA and Columbia University Earth Institute research finds that human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth's climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet.
From a combination of climate models, satellite data, and paleoclimate records the scientists conclude that the West Antarctic ice sheet, Arctic ice cover, and regions providing fresh water sources and species habitat are under threat from continued global warming. The research appears in the current issue of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.[..]
The researchers used data on earlier warm periods in Earth's history to estimate climate impacts as a function of global temperature, climate models to simulate global warming, and satellite data to verify ongoing changes. Lead author James Hansen, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, concludes: "If global emissions of carbon dioxide continue to rise at the rate of the past decade, this research shows that there will be disastrous effects, including increasingly rapid sea level rise, increased frequency of droughts and floods, and increased stress on wildlife and plants due to rapidly shifting climate zones
Not so surprising for those of us in the reality-based community. You know, those of us who don't look upon everything as a partisan argument to win with whatever lies or obfuscation are handy, but are genuinely committed to a livable environment for generations to come. That's why it comes as such a shock to hear a NASA administrator's laissez faire attitude:
I guess I would ask which human beings - where and when - are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take.
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